Posted: Wednesday 13th June 2018
Joanne Todd Watch Commander at Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service was recently named in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list, she was awarded the honour for services to the Prince’s Trust.
Jo started working for Hertfordshire County Council in 2007 as a fire control operator, before moving across to the Youth Engagement Team in 2011.
“In this new role I was responsible for coordinating a work experience programme and decided that doing some research into the Prince’s Trust Programme and other national programmes could help me shape how as a Fire Service, we could better support young people from hard to reach backgrounds in Hertfordshire.”
In 2013, the first pilot of the Prince’s Trust Team Programme was launched from Watford Fire Station and since then we have expanded it to four other areas – Cheshunt, Welwyn and Hatfield, Stevenage and Hemel Hempstead.
In that time, 661 young people not in education, employment or training passed through the programme having developed their skills through work experience opportunities, team building activities and running projects to support their own communities.
Jo found out about the BEM honour in early May.
“It’s been so difficult to keep it to myself since then! I arrived home from holiday to a letter from the Cabinet Office on the doorstep – at first I thought it was someone having a joke with me – I was in disbelief! I didn’t even know my Line Manager had nominated me for it. I was so surprised, humbled and honoured that I had been chosen. Since finding out I’ve also had the pleasure of attending a garden party at Buckingham palace for Prince Charles’ 70th Birthday, which was amazing! It has been such a whirlwind. I’m so proud of the achievement but I couldn’t have done any of it without my fantastic team behind me and the support of Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service and Hertfordshire County Council.”
Darryl Keen, Director of Community Protection at Hertfordshire County Council and Chief fire Officer said: “The Prince’s Trust Teams in Hertfordshire are often held up as shining examples of good practice and this is undoubtedly the result of the hard work of those involved and the strong leadership and commitment from Jo. This award is thoroughly deserved and reflects well on Jo, her colleagues and Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, congratulations Jo!”